Art aplenty

Baroque and High Renaissance Rome

When you look at a beautiful painting in a book, or see a documentary on the tv about a famous artist, you can appreciate the beauty, the craftsmanship, the artistry and even the genius. It's fascinating. When you see a painting in a gallery, hung beside many other works, you get to see a different side, a more detailed side, you get to see the flakes of paint, the individual brush strokes and the depth of colour. It's amazing. But, when you see a painting, a fresco, a statue or even a mosaic where it was originally commissioned to be, or even better, where it was actually realised, in that very place, that very church, the piazza or the private palazzos, it takes you to a different level altogether. You see what the artist saw when he was working, you can sense that once upon a time, he was there, on that spot, creating a masterpiece. It takes your breath away.

Take for instance the The Cerasi Chapel (Capella Cerasi), one of five within the Santa Maria del Popolo church, where you can find two Caravaggio pieces (The Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus and The Crucifixtion of Saint Peter) flanking a Carracci (The Assumption of Mary) that make up an altarpiece. Standing in front of these paintings in the wonderful surroundings of this magnificent church, viewing the Caravaggio pieces side-on, as he intended, is an incredible experience. In the the church of San Luigi dei Francesi between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Navona, three of Caravaggio's paintings, a serialization of the life of St. Matthew painted in 1600, adorn the Contarelli chapel. When in Rome offer a Caravaggio guided tour, where, in the company of an official tour guide, you will be taken to see these, and many more, of Caravaggio's works.

If architecture or sculpture is more to your taste, then there is the Bernini tour. Born in 1598, some of the finest architecture in Rome can be attributed to Bernini. Even today, his work can be found in many streets and piazzas around the city. The tour includes a visit to his home close to the Spanish steps where he helped his father finish the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Old Boat). You will also visit, amongst others, Palazzo Barberini, Piazza Navona, the Borghese Gallery, St Peter's Square and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore where Bernni was buried in 1680.

When In Rome Tours offer a Michelangelo tour and Raphael tour, both of which can be booked on request. As with every When in Rome tour, you will be accompanied by a fully licensed, local expert guide.

Published on July 16th, 2013
© When In Rome Tours, article provided by James Elliott.

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